Executive Director

Executive Director

“You are not just a passive recipient of education---you are an active participant, and you make it the best it can be.”

Shortly after completing her doctorate from Harvard University, Dr. Kate O’Neill started at UNM-Taos in 1994 as an adjunct instructor in psychology, where she became a full-time assistant professor in 2003. Shortly thereafter she was asked to step up as an academy head in charge of twelve departments for Professions and Liberal Arts.

In 2006 Dr. O’Neill became the Interim Director of the community college for a year while a national search was conducted. After that search she was appointed as permanent, full-time Executive Director in June, 2007 by UNM President David Schmidly. She continues to serve in that role.

Executive Director

During Dr. O’Neill’s tenure as Executive Director, the campus has grown in financial resources, faculty, staff and student enrollment, along with a commensurate build out of the UNM-Taos Klauer Campus.

Dr. O’Neill’s grounding in the social sciences has been a major component in her successfully guiding the college for the past eight years. She received her M.Ed (Master’s in Education) in 1990 in Psychology, and her Ed.D (Doctorate) in 1997 in Human Development and Psychology. This background in social science, she believes, has helped her to develop a campus climate of collegiality and cooperation.

“Education is the Great Equalizer”

As an educator who is dedicated to the community college mission of lifelong learning, Dr. O’Neill is energized by the continuing growth and development of UNM-Taos and sees numerous possibilities for the campus to evolve in its role as a supportive institution for the communities of northern New Mexico. In addition to her service as Executive Director, Dr. O’Neill has served on the Boards of Directors of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce, the Harwood Museum, and the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges. She has also served as an officer of the NMACC and will be appointed President for a two-year term for 2015-17.

Executive Director

She has represented UNM-Taos at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the American Association of Community Colleges on a regular basis. In late 2013 Dr. O’Neill was invited to attend a special meeting on the state of higher education with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and subsequently provided written commentary to Voice, the publication of the Association of Hispanic Serving Institutions and Educators.

“An important part of our mission is to help facilitate community”

Providing quality, affordable higher education opportunities in the northern mountains of New Mexico can be a challenge. People go their separate ways, and although Taos is blessed with thriving, dynamic cultures, the UNM-Taos campus is one of the only places where they all truly interact. Dr. O’Neill’s goal is to help guide an educational institution where all the doors are open.

“What keeps me going is the thrill of learning.”

In her spare time Dr. O’Neill enjoys reading widely, and cultivates peace of mind by fly fishing along the rivers and high-mountain streams of Northern New Mexico. She looks forward to returning to faculty at some date in the future.

*All quotes from Dr. Kate O’Neill